An abattoir worker who claimed his job cutting and throwing heavy cuts of meat gave him hernias has lost an appeal in his bid to claim workers’ compensation.
An abattoir worker who claimed his job cutting and throwing heavy cuts of meat gave him hernias has lost an appeal in his bid to claim workers’ compensation.

Meatworker denied on fourth shot at compo

An abattoir worker who claimed his job cutting and throwing heavy cuts of meat gave him hernias has lost an appeal in his bid to claim workers' compensation for the injuries.

Brazilian-born Israel Ribeiro began working as a "slicer" at the JBS Australia abattoir at Dinmore near Ipswich in 2008.

In September 2017, Mr Ribeiro made an application for workers' compensation for an umbilical hernia injury he claimed that he sustained as a result of his employment as a slicer, which involved throwing heavy cuts of meat to a packer.

JBS, a self-insurer, rejected the application and on review, the Worker's Compensation Regulator confirmed that decision.

But in a later appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Mr Ribeiro submitted that "he suffered the injuries of an umbilical hernia and a para-umbilical hernia" and "those two injuries arose out of or in the course of his employment and his employment was a significant contributing factor to those injuries".

He claimed his employment aggravated his hernias and his job was a significant contributing factor to that aggravation and "the causal connection between his employment and the development or aggravation of his hernias was intra-abdominal pressure caused by the work he performed for JBS."

 

The entrance to the JBS Australia's Dinmore meatworks facility west of Brisbane. File picture
The entrance to the JBS Australia's Dinmore meatworks facility west of Brisbane. File picture

He gave evidence that during his shifts as a slicer, a boner threw the cut of meat onto the table where he was working, he would pull that cut of meat towards him with his hands and clean it before throwing or pushing the meat to the packer who worked on the end of the table.

"Mr Ribeiro stated the primal cuts of chuck weighed between 10kg to 15kg and in respect of primal cuts of non-halal and halal silverside, they could weigh anywhere from 6kg to 15kg," the QIRC wrote in its judgment.

In December the QIRC ruled against Ribeiro's appeal, finding that while Mr Ribeiro did suffer from hernias, there was no evidence they were caused or aggravated by his work.

He then forged ahead with an appeal to the Industrial Court of Queensland which today dismissed his appeal, ruling there had been no error of law in the previous findings.

Today's decision was the fourth time Ribeiro had lost his application for compensation after being knocked back by JBS, the Worker's Compensation Regulator, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and the Industrial Court of Queensland.

Originally published as Meatworker denied on fourth shot at compo


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